Brave New World
So, we stay at home. Trying to work, trying to live. 2 months ago no one expected such a situation, and now we need to adjust our behaviors and habits to the new reality. We have to start dealing with uncertainty and fear about the future, our jobs, economy and far more aspects like education, healthcare systems, poverty, etc.
For me, it’s a bit weird. For the last few years, the only news about the end of the world was related to global warming but many people didn’t care. Now it’s different. COVID-19 takes no prisoners – everyone can get sick and within 2 weeks you might die. Now people care, now people act (separated but working together against the same enemy). Now we are quite equal with our basic human needs – safety, food, love. Strangers support strangers. We are all in this and we want to go together through these times.
Let’s start with bad things for a while as there are many consequences that might change how we function for the next few years:
- mass events and places like cinemas will be limited or even closed
- many people will lose their jobs
- healthcare systems in some countries might have huge problems
- depression, social (and physical) isolation
- travelling will be limited or even prohibited
- economic crises and high unemployment rate
- and many others
To avoid spreading the virus we need to pay the price. Safety first. For the last decade, we were living in an abundance where growth was less predictable. Countries were becoming richer, and richer. People had more houses, cars and debt. It was like being on Titanic – different people on different levels but going from point A to point B. No one expected the iceberg.
In my neighborhood, many people didn’t know what to do. The previous crisis was huge from the financial point of view, but no one locked people down. They didn’t fight with the virus, they did not lose their job from one day to another at such a scale. Even if you are flexible in life it’s still hard to adapt if you don’t know what to expect within the next 2-4 weeks. Plus most of the news is relates to Corona 24/7 – it might be overwhelming.
At some point, people started accepting the reality and they realized a very interesting thing – that for the last few years they were chasing things they can live without like huge cars, jewelry, etc. If you look at what people are buying right now you would be surprised;
So, what became necessary to survive?
- Workspaces (desks)
The rest is just nice to have, the element of our dynamic social ecosystem, where we exchange goods and services.
Of course, I’ve noticed a few interesting changes in shopping behaviours and in companies reaction to the whole situation:
- Speed in e-commerce – Amazon announced that they will hire 100 K more employees. Many offline producers realized that e-commerce is the only channel now to distribute their goods, so they are open for IT like never before. However, they need quick solutions to keep going, not enormous years-built systems. COVID-19 – is now the reason behind many digital transformations.
- Problems for startups – LIME, UBER – they have big losses as people stay home and don’t use their services. For them, it’s hard to change the business model in a week period of time
- New Logistic – e-commerce wasn’t prepared for such a huge number of orders. They need more drivers, more new apps to optimize paths. My local florist decided to sell flowers via Facebook Fan Page. Clever! Moreover, they are engaging communities like never before. Word of Mouth and high customer service are the keys now.
- More quality content – many people try to make their online courses, but only the best ones will survive. There is no place for mediocracy anymore.
- Virtual offices – home offices are just a beginning for many of us. I think that it will stay longer with us but it will require far more adapted houses to work when having kids behind your back
- E-Learning – let’s be honest – some of the universities were weak. But on the other hand, there’s so much great content from top universities globally that I hope people will learn from experts and real gurus
- Less waste – in many aspects. During last years some startups were burning cash without ROI, corporations were buying software that no one uses. ⅓ of globally produced food was wasted. Apps like Too Good To Go might have their 5 minutes on the stage.
- Must have vs. nice to have – in a new economy where unemployment rate might be high we will be more focused on our must-have needs rather than nice to have ones. I think we will appreciate luxury more than ever.
- Online healthcare – this was one of my biggest discoveries. Many people suddenly got healthy. There are no queues in the medical facilities as they used to be. People think twice before they go to a doctor plus they prefer online consultation.
- Remote entertainment – more and more events go online (conferences, concerts, movies) and we might see this trend in the next few years.
I can notice many other changes. Some people see the current crisis as an opportunity to change something and I like it. Business owners and startups need to focus on what’s really needed. Otherwise, no one will pay for their goods or services.
Good things will come
I am a positive thinker. As human beings, we are very adaptable and we always try to survive. I think this time it will be the same. We will find the cure, the vaccine and build a new society with an increasing number of smart solutions.
Bear in mind, that we still have challenges in front of us like global warming.
How about you? What have you noticed during the quarantine time around you? What kinds of behaviors, business models, and new technologies are applied?